Team of health officials has boarded the cruise ship
A Royal Caribbean cruise on its way from the Caribbean to New Jersey has turned into a disaster as more people fall ill with a gastrointestinal virus. Explorer of the Seas is due to return to Cape Liberty, New Jersey, tomorrow.
More than 600 passengers and crew have so far fallen sick, according to US health officials, specifically 577 passengers and 49 members of the crew. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. A team of health officials boarded the cruise ship on Sunday in St Thomas.
“After consultation between our medical team and representatives of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we think the right thing to do is to bring our guests home early, and use the extra time to sanitize the ship even more thoroughly,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.
The voyage began in New Jersey last Tuesday. It is possible that the cause of the outbreak was the contagious infection norovirus. Stool samples are being taken from infected people for analysis. There are around 20 million cases of norovirus in the US each year and can be fatal.
[pictured: Inside Explorer of the Seas; photo courtesy Royal Caribbean]